The ranch house was painted pink
when he bought it with the VA loan.
Little outpost in a wilderness
of thick green.
Tangles of tawny wheat grass
buried our chiggered knees.
Green snakes hung from the hickory limb
flicking tongues too near our ears.
Black snakes raced into the wild roses
escaping the angry mower.
Hognose snakes pretended to die
in the middle of the two rut road.
With each new species, Violet screamed.
With each new scream, Rosanne echoed.
I found the machete Daddy brought from the South Pacific
and hacked my way toward a vacant shed.
Maybe this was like Africa in the National G’s.
Maybe we were missionaries.
Roberta Schultz plays guitar, sings and writes for the Kentucky women’s trio, Raison D’Etre who have 8 recordings and one live concert DVD to their credit. Her song lyrics are published in two Motif (Motes Books) anthologies edited by poet, Marianne Worthington. She has poems published in Volume 15, 16 and 17 of Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel.